When I was four years old my mom decided to take me to a dance studio. Once we arrived we watched several dance classes, and while we were watching a tap dance class Miss Theresa (the owner of the Dance Studio) asked me if I knew how to take a bow. Me being the excited four year old I was said "Yes!" and stood up and showed her my bow.
Miss Theresa said, "that's a nice bow, but here's how we can make it better" and showed me the right way. After learning the right way to take a bow, my mom and I decided that tap was doing to be the class for me. I wish me, that four year old girl knew how much Miss Theresa would mean to me.
Tap was a challenge for me. It was difficult to memorize the steps, and have perfect arms. If I couldn't get a step to sound perfectly Miss Theresa would make me do it over a million times until it sounded perfect, and when it sounded perfect she would say "Ahhhh!" and point at my foot. Her face would light up.
In the moment I disliked when she made me do the step a million times. I wanted to give up. I wanted to just do the step like I was, and leave it as that. Miss Theresa was teaching me that if you want something, you have to work for it. If you want a step to sound and look perfect, you need to do it a million times until you make it sound and look perfect.
"Practice, practice practice." is what she would say. There was no giving up in Miss Theresa's eyes. You weren't leaving that room until you mastered that step. She never gave up on me, even when I gave up on myself. Behind every dancer who believes in themselves, is a teacher that believed in them first.
Miss Theresa passed away peacefully on January 25, 2018. Miss Theresa was so passionate about dance, and she passed on her passion for the art of dance to me. I am so blessed to have been able to know Miss Theresa. She was a kind, patient, and gentle woman. She loved all of her dance students and we all became a part of her heart. Of course she became a part of our heart as well.
I know I made Miss Theresa proud, because in 2014 she offered me to teach four to eight year olds. Teaching the art Miss Theresa taught me was amazing. I was once a four year old not knowing anything about tap, so I got to show other children how tap became a part of who I am. Sadly, Miss Theresa was forced to close the studio in December of 2014, and I was there up until then.
Miss Theresa, I wish you knew how much those little moments with you mattered to me. Sometimes I walk into a room, and I smell your signature perfume. I constantly think about you. I want my future daughters to be tap dancers too. Thank you for teaching me the art of dance, the importance of working hard, confidence, but most importantly thank you for teaching me "Show off is show biz".
I love you Miss Theresa. I know you're dancing with the angels now.